Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am looking into a specific expression I heard but could not remember it exactly. It means that be safe and come back soon, or any similar meaning. You say it to your friend/ relative when they leave.

I am sure it has this word: "victorious". Probably it is something like "return victorious". Also, it probably has the word "sail". It is NOT a common expression that you will hear everyday.

share|improve this question
2  
Smooth Sailing? –  Oldcat Aug 28 at 20:29
    
Hasta la vista, baby! –  FumbleFingers Aug 28 at 20:37
    
No, it has the word "victorious". Plus it is not that short -- otherwise I would have remembered it. It is more than 5 or 6 words. –  student1 Aug 28 at 20:48
    
"Come back safe and sound" is the most obvious one for me. –  Mari-Lou A Aug 28 at 20:56

4 Answers 4

Could you be thinking of shield rather than sail?

Return victorious with/on your shield

This was a common parting message given to the warriors of ancient Sparta before they left for war. The soldiers in the phalanx were each issued a large bronze shield, called a hoplon. Due to its size, if one of them returned from battle without his shield it was suspected that he had dropped it to flee the battle.

If the soldier died valiantly in battle his comrades could use his shield as a kind of litter to drag his body back to Sparta.

Thus, the meaning of the saying is clear. The only acceptable options are:

Return victorious (with your shield)
Return dead (on your shield)
share|improve this answer
    
Personally I wouldn't say this to a friend or relative unless I was being ironic, but it fits the OP's request. –  Mari-Lou A Aug 28 at 20:58
    
Me neither, but s/he did say it wasn't common. –  Mynamite Aug 28 at 21:00
    
That hardly means "be safe"... –  Oldcat Aug 28 at 21:57
up vote 2 down vote accepted

OK, I remembered it.

Sally forth and do battle and return victorious.

I am not sure what its origin is or even whether it is any use?

share|improve this answer
1  
It is a reference to a force of knights leaving a castle or fortified place under siege (a sally) and attacking the enclosing enemy. Hardly means "be safe", though. –  Oldcat Aug 28 at 21:59
    
Great phrase! My dad would always shout out "SALLY FORTH" when ever we would go out anywhere. It also happens to be the origin of the name of the comic strip –  paqogomez Aug 28 at 22:37

These are called parting phrases. The only one I have heard with the word "victory" is "Take care, victory lies ahead.", but it doesn't mention you are expected to return soon.

share|improve this answer

Godspeed would have a similar connotation.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.